95: Mercedes-Benz A-Class – solving the premium hatchback conundrum

Top 100 cars for 2020: Dramatic dashboard makes others seem rather half-arsed

Mercedes-Benz A-Class: tackling the issue of premium hatchbacks

Mercedes-Benz A-Class: tackling the issue of premium hatchbacks


The whole idea of a ‘premium’ hatchback is a bit of a funny one. After all, what’s the point of spending extra to have a spangly badge on the front of your five-door hatch when the mass-market options from VW, Ford, Toyota et al are so darned good. Mercedes attempts to answer this conundrum in two ways.

First of all, it gives the A-Class the MBUX interior, which uses a dramatic all-screen dashboard that frankly makes most other digital dashes look rather half-arsed.

Secondly, it gives the A-Class a four-doors saloon variant that does, somehow, manage to look and feel a bit more upmarket and which could conceivably tempt you out of a basic C-Class.

The only problem is that it’s all a bit dull to drive, thanks to a slightly flat chassis. Even the 300hp AMG A35 model is rather unexciting.

Best model: A180 AMG-Line saloon A/T for €35,730

Price range: €28,830 to €59,245 Finance from €330 per month.

Co2 emissions: 101 to 156g/km

Sum up: Appealing, but doesn’t make much sense as a hatch.

* A note on Co2 figures: For almost all the cars in the Top 100, we’ve quoted the stricter WLTP figures for Co2 emissions. A few are still quoted on their older NEDC2 figure, and that’s the number they’ll be taxed on. If you’re confused at all, just consult your local dealer for specific data for the make and model in which you’re interested.